Written answers

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Department of Education and Skills

Schools Building Projects Data

Photo of Pat CaseyPat Casey (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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192. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the criteria used by the school building programme for tendering procurement; and the changes to this criteria and scoring since 2011 to date. [9282/19]

Photo of Joe McHughJoe McHugh (Donegal, Fine Gael)
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The criteria for procurement of Building Contractors and Design Teams are set out below and have remained largely unchanged since 2001.


The procurement approach for the delivery of all school building projects is set out in guidance and procedures published by my Department’s Planning and Building Unit.

In general, for Public Works contracts there are two methods of tendering (the Restricted Procedure and the Open Procedure).

In the case of tenders for the appointment of main building contractors for less complex school building projects of a small to medium scale, the Open procedure can be used and all contractors are entitled to submit a tender but must meet the minimum standards as set out in the invitation to tender (thus facilitating the inclusion of small to medium enterprises and those with no experience in educational projects). These contracts are generally awarded on the basis of lowest tender.

For larger or more complex school building projects, where it is considered that pre-qualification of contractors is warranted, the Restricted Procedure is normally used. In the Restricted procedure, there is an intermediary qualification stage during which the numbers of applicants is reduced (or restricted) to a specified amount (normally 8 - 10). The pre-qualification process uses a combination of pass/fail criteria and qualitative criteria to establish the tender short-list. All criteria have minimum standards which must be met. These contracts are then generally awarded on the basis of the lowest tender.

Tenders for projects being delivered under my Department’s “Design & Build” programme are evaluated using the Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT) approach. This means that the criteria for the award of the contract include technical merit as well as price. In the case of the Department’s current Design and Build programme, Technical Merit carries a 60% weighting and Price carries a 40% weighting.Over 150 projects have been delivered under the Department’s Design and Build programme since it was commenced in 2008.

The evaluation of tenders for projects being delivered under Public Private Partnerships (PPP) arrangements has also used the MEAT approach. The National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) is responsible for the procurement of PPP projects in the education sector.

Design Teams

For design team appointments on projects with a construction value over €1m in value the criteria for contract award are:

QualityB1Tendered Rates
QualityB2Resources (hours devoted to project)
QualityCProject Assessment (Site and Project Specific Issues)

For appointing design teams for small projects (i.e. projects with a construction value of less than €1m) the criteria are:

1. Summary of service to be provided.

2. Competency of the firm to carry out the work.

3. Project delivery (how the project can be completed on time and within budget)

4. Price.


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